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Frankston Bombers Apologise For 'Blackface' Dress-Up Party

Costume Party Rule #1: Don't do Blackface.

Yep. It happened again.

Victoria's Frankston Football and Netball Club has been forced to apologise after hosting an 'iPod Shuffle Night' where players were encouraged to dress up as their favourite musicians.

Several players took pictures that were uploaded to the club's social media accounts dressed in 'Blackface' -- using makeup to convey the appearance of a person with dark skin.

Rapper Lil' Wayne and pop singer 'Scary Spice' were among the ill-advised costume choices, with a number of players pictured posing in 'Blackface'.

High-profile figures such as the Indigenous rapper Briggs and basketballer Liz Cambage expressed their distaste on social media. Cambage took a stand against 'Blackface' earlier this year when she called out Opals teammate Alice Kunek for dressing up as Kanye West.

While the club initially stood its ground, tweeting: "So mocking Trump is ok but thinking kids paying tribute to singers they love is racist #doublestandards", an apology was issued Sunday on Facebook. The photos were then removed from the club's Instagram account.

You'll note the statement maintains the "Club is in no way racist". Perhaps the Frankston Bombers misunderstand the cultural sensitivities of 'Blackface' and why many find it deeply offensive.

Writes HuffPost Australia's Anthony Sharwood:

The history of blackface is often not understood by Australians. In America, it was a comedic device that lampooned and belittled black people. In contemporary western societies, any white person who wears black makeup is generally considered to be paying homage to this tradition.

Briggs also posted an extremely vulgar voicemail message, apparently left on his phone by someone from the club on Saturday night. We won't post it here, because it is as offensive as the pictures themselves.

The AFL is now investigating the incident. The Frankston Bombers are right about one thing -- the whole debacle is extremely regrettable.

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